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where can an "unskilled" person find a job?(27 posts)

where can an "unskilled" person find a job?ishmael
Dec 14, 2002 7:49 AM
I'm still in school in Philadelphia and trying to find a job and it's discourging, I can't find anything...any advice on where to look? I have a history in tutoring, painting, and tree work
McDonalds. (nm)empacher6seat
Dec 14, 2002 11:25 AM
Warehouse workmickey-mac
Dec 14, 2002 11:38 AM
I've never been to Philadelphia, but I'm sure it has a lot of warehouses. If you find the right place and are willing to bust your ass, you can probably make pretty good money. You should be able to find hourly work that will fit with your school schedule. It's not glamorous, but it will get you by while you're in school.
Short-term work all over now, but you get laid off at Xmasretro
Dec 14, 2002 3:35 PM
At least around the Bay Area and most of California, every store seems to be hiring for Christmas--there are signs everywhere. It's boring work and the pay's lousy and you get laid off after Christmas, but it's at least a few bucks.
Longer term, I think it's just a matter of pounding the street until something turns up. I haven't had to do it in several years (and I hated it when I did), but it works.
Does your school have a student employment service, or a bulletin board where jobs are posted? Most college towns are hotbeds of crappy employment opportunities, because the turnover's fast. Running a copy machine on the graveyard shift at Kinko's isn't any fun, but it pays the rent.
Try the classifieds, paper or online. . .js5280
Dec 14, 2002 7:08 PM
Grab Sunday's paper (usually the most comprehensive and most current) or go to the online version of your local paper and look for jobs in the classifieds. At least you'll know who is hiring and maybe you can get some ideas on where to work.

Have you thought about restuarant work? Normally you start out busing tables but at a nicer restuarant you can make decent money. Also you'll probably be able to get some free meals. Another option, if you don't mind putting miles on your car, you could deliever pizzas. Another good one is working banquets. Normally you set up the rooms, serve, etc. but in some states you also get tips. I've done all three while in HS and college. Beats the crap out of working retail or some other job that pays minimum wage or slightly more.
re: where can an "unskilled" person find a job?Bill B
Dec 15, 2002 8:06 AM
Try UPS, they usually have part time openings loading the trucks before they go out in the mornings. It's early, early in the morning but it is only four or five hours, pays well and offers benifits.
Ditto UPSjtolleson
Dec 16, 2002 9:49 AM
I've heard good benefits and decent pay, though early mornings are part of the drill. They do seasonal (though that's probably only good for a few more days).

"Unskilled" is in lots of funny places. We have a guy (he's actually a grad student but for labor market purposes is "unskilled") at my law firm who moves furniture, does court filings, some purchasing, stocking the fridges, etc. for $9 an hour (okay, not great, but also gets health insurance). Look not only in the manufacturing, fast food, and retail works but check ads for administrative folks, too.

Good luck.
Corporate America.Sintesi
Dec 16, 2002 5:16 AM
Go to the temp agency, tell them you know Word and Excel (you only need to know a little bit) and let them send you out on admin jobs. Work your a$$ off for a few weeks and blammo new job, decent pay, easy work. Just smile a lot, and laugh at your boss' jokes, that should about do it.

BTW, I'm serious.
Don't temp. Trust me.Kristin
Dec 16, 2002 7:37 AM
First of all, they are usually looking for 9-5 people. Not good for someone with classes. And God I could tell you some stories about temping. I temped for two years as a secretary in CT. That was some of the worst work I ever did. Most people who hire temps are either emotionally unstable or are perverts. Seriously. They need temps because the can't full time people around. I arrived at one assignment that turned out to be in an apartment building...IN AN APARTMENT! The 50 year old manager didn't have any work for me to do, instead he wanted to play cards...STRIP POKER. I was just 17 at the time. At another job, I almost was hit by a flying box that was propelled accross the room by a deranged local politian who'd hired my temp agency.

Ishy, trust me. Ixmay on the emptay!
why not temp?ColnagoFE
Dec 16, 2002 9:16 AM
Just charge $150 an hour and call yourself a consultant. At that hourly rate they find something for you to do pretty quickly.
I dunno maybe it's because you're a woman.Sintesi
Dec 16, 2002 1:02 PM
My experience has been vastly different. Whenever I've done it it was easy, take it or leave it work, reasonable environment and good pay. It's always come thru for me.
Dec 17, 2002 10:23 AM
Been temping & contracting for nigh on 15 years for Kelly Services. Good take it or leave it work and I've had a couple really great long-term contracts that turned into permanent work (well, permanent in the sense that I and my temp colleagues were hired on until the dept got "downsized" later on - the only drawback).

Temping IMO is almost the ONLY way to get your foot in the door at mega corporations (if that's your goal). I've worked for P&G, Generous Electric, Johnson & Johnson and Chiquita. 2 of those contracts turned into permanent assignments and paid very well indeed. My current job is a permanent assignment taken from a temp contract and is "open ended" meaning they don't know how long they'll keep me, but guaranteed contract for at least 2 years.

So why not temp? I won't take an assignment unless they schedule an interview first. FWIW I'm a high-level exec admin / desktop publisher so they almost always interview for those level positions. You can really get screwed in, say a $9/hour position where you're answering phones, but even then I always insisted on meeting the employer first before I took the contract.
I worked for Kelly & ManpowerKristin
Dec 17, 2002 11:31 AM
But I was young and working in the $8-9/hour pay range in an industrial town in the late 80's. And I came closer to getting screwed than I care to think about--unfortunately in the literal sense. But I was only a teenager, and didn't have enough experience in the business world to protect myself--like demanding interviews, etc...

I guess if I was in college, I may try it again. But I'd do it as a last resort now, as there are not benefits when you temp--at least there weren't.
Sorry for the serious answerKristin
Dec 16, 2002 6:54 AM
kinkos and UPS pay well and both offer benefits.
Tech dept of most LBS. nmEager Beagle
Dec 16, 2002 7:12 AM
high school or college?Duane Gran
Dec 16, 2002 7:13 AM
I'm not sure which type of school you are referring, so I'll offer two answers:

1) High school - If at all possible, don't work. It will inevitably conflict with studies and may be the most costly job you ever have.

2) College - Try to find employment that is somewhat related to your area of study. The experience and potential launchpad is worth more than the pay. Try to make the employment a paid internship. Most universities simply require the employer to agree and fill out a standard evaluation for work to qualify as an internship. This looks much better on the resume.
can you drive?DougSloan
Dec 16, 2002 10:16 AM
I was a school bus driver in college; it allowed me to work before and after classes; those kids can be a real pain, though, and it is a huge responsibility. I was deadly afraid of running kid over.

There are lots of other driving jobs, too, like taxi, delivery, newspapers; in other words, you probably do have a useful skill. I drove delivery trucks and forklifts in college, too.

Advertize yourself as a tutor, or talk to your professors; I worked as a logic tutor in college, and that wasn't bad. The hours are certainly flexible.

All you need is a little initiative to try some things or look in the paper.

something else, constructionDougSloan
Dec 16, 2002 10:20 AM
Contractors are always looking for unskilled (but reliable and with some common sense) people to do things around construction sites, like clean up, move lumber, work with the skilled guys, etc. Just walk onto a constuction site and ask who's in charge, then tell them what you can offer.

Also, there's a company called Labor Ready that you can go sign up with and they'll place you from day to day; we used them a lot when building in San Francisco a few years ago.

I've worked at labor ready!ishmael
Dec 17, 2002 3:09 PM
I worked there when I lived in San Fran. That place sucks. Pay sucked, boss sucked, job sucked, I quite after a day or so.
2nd school bus driving.Spoke Wrench
Dec 17, 2002 10:02 AM
That's what I'm doing now. You have to have a clean driving record and a clean criminal record. It will probably take 3 or 4 weeks to get all of the currently necessary certifications (Class B CDL with air brake and passenger endorsements, medical card, and school bus driving certificate from the state.) You get a big window of time right in the middle of the day to do whatever you want.

Weather, traffic and the kids behavior can be a pain. The best wish you can make to a school bus driver is: "Have a boreing run."
Looking for workLO McDuff
Dec 16, 2002 11:33 AM
I recall some of your earlier posts -- you're at Temple, right? What is your major? Now is the time to look at paid internships. They might not pay as much as construction (for example), but look at the long-term payoff. Check with your professors to see if they know anyone in the field that might be hiring.

If your field is something like art history, english, or sociology, you have a tougher row to hoe. Check out hospitals in the area (they seem to be always hiring), second the ideas of UPS, Kinkos, and restaurants. I worked my way through undergrad by cooking, waiting tables, and bartending; good money and good hours.

From a "Keeping your eyes on the prize" point-of-view, STAY AWAY from jobs that regularly come into contact with trade unions. When I was an undergrad, my father thought I should continue working restaurants in the college town, my uncle offered me a job at the GM plant down in Wilmington. I took the money. I made good money for that summer, but the job literally sucked the juices out of me. If I had to hear; "Why do you want to go college? You'll make way more money here!!" one more time, I think I would have joined the lifers drinking in their cars during lunchtime. It was the last time I spent the summer in the Delaware Valley.

Good Luck.
Looking for workishmael
Dec 17, 2002 3:10 PM
yea money isn't everything....I plan to teach eventually, if I can get in..
Looking for workzeke
Dec 17, 2002 9:24 PM
I have now read a few of your posts and you seem to be interested in teaching only. OK, that seems to me to be your dream position.
Then, find all the little tutoring teaching positions you can find. They will pay off and it will let you know if you really want to teach. I remember my first teaching position. I found it in the Philadelphia Inquirer, teaching part time for a nurses' union, 1199C, if I recall correctly. They practical nurses, trying to fulfill the requirements for the GED and in the past 20 years, I think they were the most motivated students I have ever had in any subject.
My basic message is, since teaching is your dream, look around in that area, and anything related to that area, and your dream will come true. Guaranteed.
re: where can an "unskilled" person find a job?zeke
Dec 17, 2002 9:13 PM
Have you thought about civil service?
While maybe not attractive, they at least offer opportunities to liberal arts majors, the salaries are quite good, and of course you can quit anytime.
A civil service position will at least give you some time to think and money to spend.
what's the civil seviceishmael
Dec 18, 2002 10:49 AM
I'll have a bachelors in history with about a 2.5. Options would be nice. Please tell me all you know
That's enough!53T
Dec 19, 2002 8:04 AM
You are just stringing everyone along. Nobody who has gone to college has never heard of the Civil Service. I would urge all readers to ignore your posts until you send something credible.
Dec 20, 2002 9:37 PM
I'm too lazy to look it up. I honestly dont know. I was hopeing for so info civil service job related info...You think I just like to ask question? I'm trying to get info from people who have experience.